Tuesday May 10, 2011
There were two things I said I would never do because of my fear of them–bungy jumping and ski diving. To jump off a bridge or out of an airplane seemed crazy for anyone to do, let alone me. I remember flying and looking out the plane window and feeling fear of falling out of the plane. I have stood on top of bridges or buildings and felt the fear of falling off and the feeling I would experience. On my fiftieth birthday my wife had a surprise for me. We got up early on my birthday with Krispy Kreme donuts and headed for our destination and you guessed it–Desert Ski Diving School. Fear gripped me as we entered the hanger to prepare for my first tandem ski diving jump. Facing my worst fear of falling out of an airplane intensified with each part of the preparation. Getting into the airplane and leaving my family as we headed to the 12,000+ altitude just intensified my fear. The door of the airplane opened when we were over the jump site and caused my body to begin to shake all over. It was the worst fear I have ever experienced in my entire life as I put my right foot on the strut of the airplane ready to jump–to my death. And then. And then! The most exhillerating feeling I have ever had. Free falling for 45 seconds. Falling at 120 miles per second. Hands out and feet out. Suspended in air. I had no feeling of falling because there was nothing moving by you to cause you to feel that you were falling, yet the wind beating on your glasses gave you the sensation that you were moving fast. The shoot came out and we had a perfect landing. My fear of ski diving was conquered.
Fear can get us off the track of God’s call. Nehemiah experienced this problem in rebuilding the wall. “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’ But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” (Neh. 6:9). How often has fear of a person or that they might do or say gotten us off the track of what God wants for us? When we back away from our fears, they just get bigger, because the fear you had before is added to the fear you are presently experiencing and the fear is multiplied. Jesus was aware of what fear does to a person and spoke about fear in Matthew 6:19-34. He saw that fear stops us from growing. Fear stops us from enjoying the best in life. Fear stops us from having the best possible relationships. It causes us to stop the journey.
On this journey it is important to identify what fears are stopping us and confront them to experience all that God has for us. As Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)